The 73-year-old grandma had gone to get a manicure done when her beautician noticed the unusual shape of her nails and advised her to seek help.
Cancer has become a commonplace disease and while it can be fatal, not many people know what causes it or what the symptoms look like. Sometimes, a stranger can become a savior in a situation like this just because they might have read or heard about it earlier. Help can arrive from surprising quarters if we are lucky.
A granny living in the UK was lucky she visited a beautician who informed her that she should seek medical advice after looking at her nails. Linda Bartram saved 73-year-old Joan Martindale's life when she gave her the suggestion after looking at her "bent right over" nails while giving her a manicure. When Joan went to seek medical help, she was informed that she has a tumor and was treated for lung cancer.
"Going for a manicure saved my life. It was incredible she could pick it up from just looking at my nails. I've told her I shall be eternally grateful to her when we've got rid of this COVID we're going for a big slap-up meal," she said, as per the Sun UK.
Joan had initially noticed her clubbed nails, a common but unexpected sign of lung cancer, last December, and even though she Googled the symptoms she was told by doctors then that it was only water retention.
"...I saw Joan's nails and remember saying 'I don't want to alarm you Joan, but you need to get the doctor to look at your nails'. Then the ball rolled very fast, and thank goodness it did. I did anatomy and physiology nearly 20 years ago and was taught nails tell you so much," said Linda, 59.
Joan is safe now thanks to Linda who had knowledge about nails, which can tell us a lot about our health and more. However, there are more surprising symptoms of lung cancer which have nothing to do with the lungs at all. Here are four more symptoms that you should be aware of:
If someone is losing many pounds of weight even when they were not trying to do so, it can be a cause for concern. This could mean many things, including diabetes, but unexpected weight loss is a symptom of many kinds of cancers. "As with any cancer, a more advanced tumor may make proteins that tell your body to lose weight," Dr. Robert McKenna, a thoracic surgeon at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, told Prevention. People who have cancer could also be going through a loss of appetite.
Lung cancer can affect organs and muscles. Surprisingly, one of the first areas to get affected is the hips. "You might find it hard to even get out of a chair,” Dr. Jack Jacoub, a medical oncologist at MemorialCare Cancer Institute, CA told Prevention. A person with lung cancer would experience weakness in the shoulders, arms, and legs too. This happens because lung cancer cells might cause your immune system to attack parts of your nervous system, which then affect the muscles, resulting in weakness. If cancer has spread to other organs, the patient could also experience pain in the bones.
If someone has a lung tumor that starts to press against the superior vena cava, which is the large vein that carries blood from the head and arms to the heart, then they are likely to notice swelling in their neck and face, said Dr. Jacoub. The patient would experience swelling in the arms and upper chest too.
Small-cell lung cancer, which is usually caused by smoking, tells the immune system to attack the nervous system, as per WebMD. This then affects how muscles work and it could then affect balance. For instance, when people stand up after sitting they could feel dizzy or unsteady. People who have anemia get dizzy, or it could due to a backup in the large vein because of which blood moves from the head to the heart. This can happen if there's a tumor in the upper right lung.
If you notice any of these symptoms for an extended period, consult a doctor.